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18 May 2010


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adding to the story -

Colin McEnroe is a long-time columnist for The Hartford Courant -- had this to say about NYT and Blumenthal

"1. Raymond Hernandez's story is paper-thin and overplayed. No question, he's got one video clip in which Blumenthal says he was in Vietnam. And he's got, five years earlier, a quote attributed to Blumenthal where he says "we" in way that's at least open to multiple interpretations. And that's it. ..."


and from NPR:

Media Also 'Misspoke' On Blumenthal's War Record


And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

A lifetime of shame does funny things.


A pathological heinous attempt by corrupted political class to graft character and honor onto themselves with a fabricated Vietnam resume.

Did Blumenthal think that he would not be revealed? And why did this take so long for Blumenthal to be exposed? Heard a TV political pundit say he would have saved the reveal for the general election?!? Cynical use of information does public no good.

Is there a belief by politicans that everyone does it? Fabricating, plegarizing media, authors, students..it seems that this is happening more and in our culture. Honor among our current leaders is obviously a scarce commodity (hence many resort to and rely on synthetic honor).

The Twisted Genius

And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Shakespeare called it right. We all have regrets and must decide how to handle them. When some barfly falsely claims to be a vet, it's just sad and pitiful. When someone in a position of power/influence does so, it's especially despicable.

n m slalmon

Sorry, off topic:

Mohammed elBaradei on the Iranian Nuclear Issue'

1:21 long interview at Harvard U Kennedy Center




OOPS. Seems like the NYT ran a story generated by his opponent without fact checking.



Here's the full speech described in the article, posted by the Linda McMahon campaign, for those interested in primary sources.

john siscoe

The boastful or fraudulent veteran is a stock comic figure of western literature since at least the plays of Aristophanes and Plautus. This suggests that he has been a fixture on the human scene for quite
some time. I know I've met my share. Sometimes it's a stranger at a bar, but it can also be the neighbor down the street, the successful businessman, or the college professor. The desire to be taken for someone better or braver than one is evidently haunts a great many people.


NYT blew the story

or this.

"I realize that some readers will simply conclude that these journalists are either covering their asses for failing to report the story or are locked in a symbiotic relationship with Blumenthal or both. All I can say is that I know most them pretty well, and they're straight-up professionals, much more committed to solid reporting than to the cause of any candidate. Some of them included in their remarks a desire to evaluate further the relationship between press institutions and Blumenthal to see if some critical faculty was missing from the coverage.

But whatever mistakes any of us may have made, those are trumped by the overreaching by Raymond Hernandez and the New York Times in claiming that Blumenthal's fictional service in Vietnam had become a widely embraced trope. It's just not true here in Connecticut. Meanwhile, several aspects of that first story have crumpled a bit.

The Times weighed in the second day with a story in which Chris Shays volunteered himself as a "friend" who heard Blumenthal make false claims, although Shays's recollections appear to be tied to no time, place or specific event. The story is a real mishmash, mixing Shays's vague impressions with a little psychological, professorial speculation and glowing reports from veterans for whom Blumenthal apparently went the extra mile."


Rep. Mark Souder anyone? An absintence only kind of guy, christian conservative resigned for boinking a part time aide.

It happens. I guess some folks like to inflate their egos. Human nature.

"Mad" Mike Adams

Wrong and careless on almost all you parts.
From Artios

Either the NYT just ran with oppo research they were fed without bothering to check, or they did their own snipitty snip snipping.

Given recent history, I imagine they'll address the issue in 10 years or so.
-Atrios 14:08

The New York Times has some explaining to do
May 19, 2010 1:51 pm ET by Jamison Foser
The New York Times has some explaining to do
May 19, 2010 1:51 pm ET - by Jamison Foser

This Associated Press report about the controversy surrounding Richard Blumenthal’s description of his military service raises some questions about the New York Times’ handling of the story:

The crisis erupted when The New York Times reported that Blumenthal had repeatedly distorted his military service. The story included quotations and a video of Blumenthal saying at a 2008 event that he had "served in Vietnam." The newspaper also said Blumenthal intimated more than once that he was a victim of the abuse heaped on Vietnam veterans upon their return home.

A longer version of the video posted by a Republican opponent also shows Blumenthal at the beginning of his speech correctly characterizing his service by saying that he "served in the military, during the Vietnam era."

So why didn’t the Times include Blumenthal “correctly characterizing his service” in its version of the video? That’s awfully misleading, isn’t it? Given that Republican Linda McMahon’s campaign has taken credit for feeding the Times the Blumenthal story, you have to wonder if it gave the Times the incomplete video, as well. Either way, the Times should explain why it chose to omit Blumenthal’s correct characterization of his service.

UPDATE: Greg Sargent gets a comment from the New York Times. But rather than explaining the Times’ decision to omit the part of the video in which Blumenthal accurate describes his service, NYT flak Diane McNulty sounds more like a political opponent of Blumenthal’s:

The New York Times in its reporting uncovered Mr. Blumenthal's long and well established pattern of misleading his constituents about his Vietnam War service, which he acknowledged in an interview with The Times. Mr. Blumenthal needs to be candid with his constituents about whether he went to Vietnam or not, since his official military records clearly indicate he did not.

The video doesn't change our story. Saying that he served "during Vietnam" doesn't indicate one way or the other whether he went to Vietnam.

Seriously: Would that first paragraph read any differently if it came from a spokesperson for one of Blumenthal’s potential Republican opponents rather than from the New York Times?

Sargent, meanwhile, spells things out for the Times:

[T]he fact that he got it right, if narrowly so, earlier in the speech raises at least the possibility that he didn't intend to mislead later on, even if it doesn't prove this one way or the other.

Even if you don't believe the longer video is exculpatory in any way, as The Times says, there's no conceivable reason for leaving out the fuller context and letting readers make the call for themselves. It seems obvious that when dealing with a story this explosive, you would want to err on the side of more context, rather than less.

Copyright © 2009 Media Matters for America. All rights reserved.


“Instantly disqualifying” -- unless you’re a Republican
May 19, 2010 12:35 pm ET - by Jamison Foser

In the wake of yesterday’s New York Times article about Richard Blumenthal, The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder wrote that “Lying about it [military service], even exaggerating about it, is therefore instantly disqualifying.” That, as I explained, isn’t always true -- it wasn’t disqualifying for George W. Bush, whose embellished military record didn’t much concern the news media.

Today, Bob Somerby provides another example of a non-disqualifying-exaggeration: current Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s repeated description of himself as a Gulf War veteran, despite the fact that the closest he came to the Gulf was South Carolina, where processing wills for soldiers who did deploy to the Gulf. Here’s Somerby:

What happened in 1998 when Graham, then a Republican congressman, was caught up in a much more extensive version of this mess? Graham had endlessly told the world that he was a “Gulf War veteran,” although his service during that period hadn’t taken him off the east coast. (The east coast of the U.S.) By the way: In Graham’s case, we weren’t discussing a single misstatement from a single, two-year-old speech; Graham had endlessly presented himself as a “Gulf War veteran.”

Graham should refer to himself as a ''Gulf War era veteran,” we were told—and that’s pretty much the basis on which this flame was allowed to blow out. The flap about Graham blew over quickly, helped along by this sage advice. The fiery young fellow was allowed to proceed with the important business of impeaching the president.

And today, some twelve years later? Of course! On page one, the New York Times indicts a major Democrat, complaining that he once said, completely correctly, that he served “during the Vietnam era.” The use of “era” solved Graham’s problem. Twelve years later, the same construction is used, by the Times, to define Richard Blumenthal’s “lies.”

A February 18, 1998 article in The Hill demonstrates further similarities between Graham and Blumenthal:

One of the newest members of the House committee that will decide whether President Clinton should be impeached for lying under oath has himself claimed that he was a Gulf War veteran , a claim disputed by military experts.

Despite repeated statements that he served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was actually living out of harm's way at home in South Carolina, where he was processing wills and other paperwork for the Air Force during the entire course of the conflict.

On his official web site, Graham describes himself as "an Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran." Other biographies he has written read similarly.

According to numerous military experts The Hill contacted, Graham has no legitimate claim to being called a veteran of the conflict.

But Graham says he never intended to mislead anyone about his military service. "I have not told anybody I'm a combatant," he said. "I'm not a war hero, and never said I was. I never intended to lie. If I have lied about my military record, I'm not fit to serve in Congress."

Indeed, when pressed for details over the years, Graham has freely acknowledged his domestic, non-combatant role after being called to active duty from the Air Force Reserves in 1990. "I never deployed," he said last week. "Half our unit went, half our unit stayed."

Yet almost all of the standard political biographies about Graham describe his military record inaccurately. "USAF, 1990, Pursian (sic) Gulf" is how Who's Who in America and affiliated biographical books list him. The Almanac of American Politics states that Graham "was called up to active duty and served in the Gulf War."

Although Graham said he is not responsible for the Who's Who entry and considers it inaccurate, he does acknowledge providing the information for his web site and other biographies that list him as a war veteran.

Keep in mind that a key aspect of the New York Times’ case against Blumenthal is that he failed to correct misleading media descriptions of his service.

Copyright © 2009 Media Matters for America. All rights reserved.


Norm Mosher: "Hey, JM, I wonder what your wife says about Sarah Palin and narcissistic personality disorder?"

Fortunately, my wife is the type of therapist who refuses to slap a diagnostic label on someone unless that person has gone through a series of consultations.

Regarding Sarah Palin and narcissistic personality disorder? My wife thinks that she "approaches the diagnosis."


link to video:


Bruce Stryd

Thanks, Swampy, I was just gonna post that.


The special pleading being conducted in Blumenthal's behalf by Democratic partisans is entertaining. A few decades ago this would have ended his career, but we live in different times.


Making no excuses for those who do the lying, it strikes me the question, "Why DO they do this?" is one worth all of us spending a few moments reflecting on. The power of military prestige on our politics is strong; that's not the military's fault, but it still a fact we all have to reckon with.


I'm too young to have served in Viet Nam.

I mean no disrespect to anyone's service or beliefs, but I cannot wait for the generation that moved through the 60's to move off of the stage. They simply cannot get over the 60's in any meaningful way.

Who inhaled, who didn't. They all did, it seems. Who went to Viet Nam, who didn't. People like Blumenthal. Or Bush 2. Or Cheney. They can't seem to process the times or their own actions at the time in any meaningful way. Or admit that they were draft-dodging war-supporters, whatever that's supposed to be.

So we get Clinton and Gingrich and Par Buchanan and all the rest re-fighting this thing over and over and over. Enough. Please. The 60's happened. But the people who went through it seem permanently damaged by it and want to keep re-fighting the same fights.


Patrick Lang


Sorry, not until we are dead. It would be disloyal to the already dead. pl

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